Apple receives patent for concealing a fingerprint scanner behind the display

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iPhone Fingerprint Scanner

iPhone Fingerprint Scanner

Apple files for and receives many patents. Of course, some of them Apple uses, while others never see the light of day. Today, Apple was granted a patent that was originally filed on November 30, 2011.

What is interesting about the patent is that it covers a method where components such as, a fingerprint scanner, camera and (or) a strobe flash can be concealed behind an OLED display.

Apple has been rumored to include a fingerprint scanner on the next iPhone and other future iOS devices as a way to increase security and convenience. A fingerprint scanner would virtually eliminate the need for a password to turn on your iOS device and make it almost impossible for an authorized person to access your information.

The fingerprint scanner has been rumored to be behind the home button, but this new patent suggests otherwise.

The patent mentions that adding visible components may harm the visual appeal of the electronic device, aesthetics being something that Apple is always concerned about.

[ba-quote]Furthermore, under the current techniques, adding new components may harm the aesthetic appeal of the device by cluttering the electronic device enclosure, even though these additional components may be seldom or never used by many users. An electronic device that incorporates multiple components may lose its aesthetic appeal when covered by visible components, particularly as compared to a seamless electronic device where very few, if any, components of the electronic device are visible.
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It’s still uncertain when a fingerprint scanner will make it to an iOS device, but it shows Apple was working on it for at least 18 months. Apple purchased Authentec in July of 2012 for $356 million. Which makes it almost certain the company will eventually use fingerprint scanners in iOS devices.

AuthenTec described its own business as providing “a series of products including fingerprint sensors, software and intellectual property that provide security, convenience, personalization and navigation features in such end-use products as PCs, tablets, smartphones, printers, network servers and gateways.”

Here’s a link to the patent “Devices and Methods for Providing Access to Internal Component”.

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